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Coronavirus: Assam doctor who took malaria drug dies of ‘heart attack’

There was no autopsy done on Barman’s body, and doctors close to him said that he had an underlying hypertension condition.

By: Express News Service | Guwahati | Published: March 31, 2020 1:05:30 am
coronavirus india lockdown, Guwahati doctor death, hydroxychloroquine, coronavirus drug, assam coronavirus cases, assam coronavirus deaths, coronavirus news, india coronavirus, covid 19, indian express news Dr Utpaljit Barman was in his 40s and worked as an anaesthesiologist at Pratiksha Hospital. (File Photo/Representational)

A doctor in Guwahati, who may have taken hydroxychloroquine (HCQS)—recommended as a preventive drug against the coronavirus for high-risk individuals—died of a heart ailment on Sunday night, multiple doctors said.

Dr Utpaljit Barman was in his 40s and worked as an anaesthesiologist at Pratiksha Hospital. Its medical superintendent, Dr N K Hazarika, said according to the information he has, Barman took the anti-malarial drug as a prophylactic against the virus, as did many other doctors. “But the death was due to a myocardial infarction, a heart attack. Whether the HCQS caused it is not known,” he said.

There was no autopsy done on Barman’s body, and doctors close to him said that he had an underlying hypertension condition.

A message Barman sent on a WhatsApp group before his death indicated that he was having problems after having HCQS. “HCQS is not very good as prophylaxis. Lots of issues. I think I m having some problems after I took it,” he wrote. He did not specify whether he took it as a precaution for coronavirus or self-medicated due to some other ailment he was having.

Barman was not treating any suspected COVID-19 patient.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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